strong catholic families
Presented in Partnership by NFCYM, NCCL, NACFLM, and NCEA to Help Parents Bring Home the Faith
What Is the Strong Catholic Families Initiative?
A process hosted by dioceses, parishes, and/or schools for changing the way faith communities partner with parents so that the Catholic faith can be more effectively passed on to the next generation of disciples. The process, initially developed by NFCYM in 2010, is now presented in collaborative partnership by four national organizations working together to help parents bring home the faith: the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership (NCCL), the National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministers (NACFLM), the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) and the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM).
The Strong Catholic Families process is designed to:
- motivate parents to embrace the responsibility for the faith growth of their children and family as a domestic church and
- motivate parishes/schools to support and equip parents and families in passing the faith onto their children and deepening the practice of faith within their homes.
There are two event options available, one hosted by a diocese to prepare and train leaders and presenters for implementation in local parishes/schools and another that is presented directly to a local parish/school and a local Strong Catholic Families team.
Training Option 1: Diocesan Sponsored
Overview of the Diocesan-Sponsored Training of the Trainers
At a diocesan sponsored training, a "training of the trainers" model is used where the goal is to develop a group of local trainers, led by a diocesan coordinating team, who work together to oversee and implement the Strong Catholic Families process as it unfolds within the diocese. The diocesan training event is composed of three distinct sessions:
Session 1: An evening two-hour parent session which models for parish/school leaders how to engage, motivate, and partner with parents in the lifelong process of faith formation.
Session 2: A morning (three-hour) presentation and dialogue open to all interested parish/school ministry leaders outlining the what, why, and how that faith communities need to know in order to partner with parents to bring home the faith.
Session 3: An afternoon (three-hour) orientation to prepare local presenters and the diocesan team to work with parish/school staffs in using the Strong Catholic Family process and materials locally within the diocese.
NOTE: a one-day Saturday model is also available using the following schedule: Parent Session 9:00-11:00 a.m., Parish/School Leader Session from 11:15 a.m. -2:00 p.m. (including lunch at 1:15), and concluding with a Training of Presenters Session from 2:00-5:00 p.m.
Training Option 2: Parish/School Sponsored
Overview of the Parish/School Start-Up Event
View a 45 Minute Webinar Overview of the Local Start-Up Process (presented September, 2014)
At a parish/school Strong Catholic Family Start-Up event, a trained presenter will meet with and coach the parish or school staff and their local SCF leadership team prior to launching the Strong Catholic Families process with an engaging and motivating two hour presentation to all parents/grandparents/guardians within the faith community. The process unfolds as follows:
1. Conference Call with Staff/Key Leaders: A 60-90 minute conference call to review the Strong Catholic Families process and walk the staff/key leaders through the next steps in preparation for recruiting a local team, presenting the on site foundational parent session and the follow-up parent gathering.
2. On-site Meeting and Parent Presentation: The presenter will meet with the newly created local SCF team prior to presenting the two hour foundational parent session to all parents, grandparents and interested adults within the parish community.
3. Follow-Up Call: The presenter will connect with the local SCF team in preparation for its follow-up gathering with parents that will determine next steps and programmatic directions in partnering with parents to bring home the faith.
Highlights of Both Options:
- A One-Time Fee —The complete parent and leader session Power Points, numerous family faith resources and videos, and all resource materials are included in the one-time training fee along with full copyright permission to duplicate as needed. For diocesan-sponsored trainings, this license is also extended to all parishes and schools within the diocese at no extra charge!
- The Strength and Support of a National Network—The initiative has already been hosted in more than seventy dioceses throughout the U.S. and Canada, creating an active network of users who continue to grow and share effective practices and revisions to the resources.
- Ongoing Support and Resourcing—National support is offered to diocesan and parish/school hosts from day one through conference calls, evaluations, implementation and follow-up recommendations and ongoing revisions and updating of resources, all provided at no extra cost.
- An Excellent Tool to Grow the Domestic Church During the Year of Families— The Strong Catholic Families model is a dynamic process to engage and reach out to families especially during the next few years when what it means to be and live as a Catholic family will be highlighted through the Vatican's Synod on the Family in October, 2014 and 2015 and the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in September, 2015 when Pope Francis is expected to be in attendance.
- A Dynamic Way to Engage Parents - Strong Catholic Families is an excellent process to engage parents more deeply in a conversation about the meaning of faith, family and evangelization and works powerfully when incorporated into existing parish sacramental preparation programs, faith formation events, school PTA gatherings, and adult formation gatherings.
Learn More About Strong Catholic Families
- Download the Parish/School Information Flyer (532 KB)
- Check out the costs associated with the various training options and the generous license agreements extended to dioceses, parishes and schools.
- Download the Diocesan Coordinator's Program Manual (1.79 MB)
- Read about a Strong Catholic Family parish event (Diocese of Baton Rouge)
- Review the Effective Practices Digest highlighting entries sent in from throughout the Strong Catholic Families network of participating dioceses.
Resources for Parents
- What Do Parents Want to Hear from the Church? Take the brief 4 question survey by March 12, 2015 and sign up to view the results.
- Catholic Parent Revival! - This five hour live event was recorded on December 6, 2014 in San Antonio with parents in order to renew and refresh their vocation of parenthood. It is a retreat filled with inspiring stories, moving music, and meaningful prayer guaranteed to breathe new life into the role that faith takes within their home, the domestic church. Order the DVD set for $60 and use it as a retreat with parents in your parish.
- Family Faith Resource Booklet and Prayer Cards - Order the family faith resource booklets or prayer cards (English or Spanish versions) from our online store.
- Domestic Church Videos Reflections - These four minute videos demonstrate what it means to live as a Catholic family of faith in the world today and include parent discussion questions at the very end - perfect for small group discussion and faith sharing by parents.
Building Strong Hispanic Families: Fortaleciendo Familias en la Fe
Webinar Overview for the Diocesan Sponsored Training Process
(presented by Michael Theisen, NFCYM on January 15, 2013)
Costs, Trainers, and Training Schedule
View the information page of Strong Catholic Families/Fortaleciendo Familias en la Fe costs, trainers, and schedules of upcoming—as well as past—trainings.
Requesting a Training Event
To request Strong Catholic Families Training, contact:
Strong Catholic Families National Coordinator
michaelt (at) nfcym (dot) org
SCF/FFF Network Website
A special set of web pages has been prepared for diocesan leaders and local presenters who have completed the Strong Catholic Families or Fortaleciendo Familias en la Fe training in-services. There is a separate site for each program.
(The pages are password protected; access codes given with training contract are required.)